Food Handler Manual


Section 1: Public Health Legislation and the Local Health Unit

The Health Protection and Promotion Act (HPPA)

  • The HPPA is provincial legislation
  • The HPPA gives the local health unit the authority to inspect places where health hazards may exist
  • The HPPA contains regulations which explain what the Act means. The Act has broad based powers. Regulations are minimum standards based on scientific research
  • The HPPA also lays out the powers of the medical officer of health (MOH) and the public health inspector (PHI)

Examples of those powers include:

Power of Entry (Sec 41, HPPA)

  • The MOH or PHI may enter any place of business, during normal working hours, without a warrant, to carry out the duties under the Act
  • This would include routine inspections or the investigation of complaints related to a potential health hazard

Power of Seizure (Sec 19 (1), HPPA)

  • The MOH or PHI may seize anything suspected of being a health hazard for laboratory testing

Power of Destruction (Sec 19 (4), HPPA)

  • If a public health inspector determines that food is a health hazard, he/she has the power to destroy or dispose of the food immediately

Power to make an order (Sec 13, HPPA)

  • Orders are issued to eliminate a health hazard, or to lessen the effects of a health hazard
  • They can be either verbal (spoken) or written
  • Orders may also require a person or persons to stop doing something specific
  • In the case of food premises, this includes the power to order the premises to be closed until a health hazard is removed or fixed

The Ontario Food Premises Regulation

The Ontario Food Premises Regulation 562 establishes minimum standards that must be followed in any premise in Ontario (not including private residences) where food is:

  • Manufactured
  • Processed
  • Prepared
  • Stored
  • Handled
  • Displayed
  • Distributed
  • Transported
  • Sold
  • Offered for sale

Public health inspectors enforce the Ontario Food Premises Regulation 562

The Food Premises Regulation addresses standards such as maintenance, equipment, food temperatures, washrooms, food handling and employee hygiene in food premises

More information: Ontario Food Premise Regulation 562


  • By-laws are create by municipal or regional governments to deal with local issues
  • They can be different in each municipality or region
  • Examples of by-laws that may affect food premises are those related to garbage pick-up and recycling

Food Handler Certification By-law

The Food Handler Certification By-law was passed by Niagara Regional Council in 2010 and requires the following:

  1. The commercial food premises shall have a minimum of one operator and one food handler who each have a current and valid food handler certificate
  2. At least one certified food handler shall be present at the food premises to supervise the processing, preparation, storage, handling, display, distribution, transportation, sale, service, or offering for sale, of food at all times during operation
  3. On request by the MOH or a PHI, it shall produce or caused to be produced for inspection the food handler certificate for each certified food handler and each operator along with a photo identification card for each person

Role of the Public Health Inspector (PHI)

PHIs inspect food premises to make sure food is safe to eat

PHIs enforce the Food Premises Regulation. PHIs are provincial offences officers and can issue orders, tickets and summons to court when necessary

PHIs educate food handlers on safe food handling practices

PHIs assist operators in the development of food safety policies

Review Questions

1. The Health Protection and Promotion Act and the regulations within it are:

2. The public health inspector must:

Section 2: Understanding Foodborne Illness

What is foodborne illness?

Foodborne illness, also called food poisoning, is an illness acquired from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.

  • When food is contaminated by bacteria, viruses, parasites, or chemicals it can make you sick
  • For each reported case of foodborne illness, it's estimated that hundreds of additional cases go unreported in the community each year
  • Public Health Agency of Canada estimates that each year roughly one in eight Canadians (four million people) get a foodborne illness from food prepared at home

Symptoms of foodborne illness

Symptoms include:

  • Nausea
  • Fever/chills
  • Diarrhea
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Muscle soreness
  • Cramps
  • Headaches

The symptoms may occur anywhere from 30 minutes to 70 days (incubation period) after consuming the contaminated food or drink. This depends on:

  • The type of microorganism
  • The immune system of the person
  • The amount of contaminated food or drink consumed

Some populations that are at greater risk for foodborne illness include:

  • Young children
  • People with chronic illness and weakened immune systems
  • Elderly
  • Pregnant women

Costs of foodborne illness

  • Personal suffering (illness and/or death)
  • Law suits from customers/clients who are ill
  • Fines and/or court appearances
  • Bad publicity, resulting in loss of business
  • Employees being absent from work, resulting in lost wages and staff shortages
  • Time consuming and expensive foodborne illness investigations

Types of foodborne illness

Types of foodborne illness include:

  • Microorganisms
    • Bacteria
    • Viruses
    • Parasites
    • Mould
  • Chemical
    • Accidental addition of poisons to food
    • Poisonous plants and animals
  • Food allergies


  • Microorganisms are living single cells that are invisible to the naked eye. Examples of microorganisms include bacteria, parasites, viruses, moulds, and yeasts
  • Pathogens are harmful microorganisms that can cause disease in humans. Pathogens are usually odourless and tasteless
  • Spoilage organisms cause odours and odd tastes. Some microorganisms are beneficial to humans, such as the ones that are used to make sauerkraut, yogurt and cheese

Potential sources of microorganisms include:

  • Environment (i.e. soil)
  • Humans (i.e. sick food handlers)
  • Insects and rodents
  • Raw foods (i.e. raw chicken)

Cross-contamination is the transfer of pathogens, chemicals or unwanted items onto food that may make it unsafe to eat.


Bacteria is:

  • The cause of most cases of food poisoning
  • Invisible and found everywhere
  • Can double in number every 20 minutes
  • Only pathogenic bacteria can cause food poisoning

How pathogenic bacteria grow

  • Bacteria reproduce by dividing themselves in two (one cell becomes two, two become four)
  • They will divide when the conditions of their surroundings are ideal
  • The number of bacteria can reach dangerous levels in a short period of time
  • When exposed to unfavourable conditions, such as very hot or cold temperatures, some bacteria can protect themselves by changing into a spore state
    • The spore protects the bacteria from unfavourable conditions and, when ideal conditions present themselves, shed the protective coating and begin reproducing again

Bacteria multiply by dividing:

Bacteria multiply by dividing, in three hours you can have thousands of bacteria

Factors Affecting Bacteria Growth

Bacteria need a combination of factors to grow:

  1. Food source high in protein
    • Pathogenic bacteria and spoilage bacteria grow best in high protein foods such as meat, seafood and dairy
  2. Acidity (pH)
    • Acid and base concentrations are measured on a pH scale that ranges from 0 (most acidic) to 14 (most basic)
    • Pathogenic bacteria survive best in a neutral environment
    • Tap water has a pH of 7 (neutral), bleach has a pH of 13 (alkaline) and lemon has a pH of 3 (acidic)
  3. Time
    • Leaving food in the "danger zone" (4°C to 60°C) for more than two hours may be long enough for pathogenic bacteria to multiply and cause food poisoning
    • By reducing the time food is kept in the danger zone, the amount of bacterial growth is limited
  4. Temperature
    • Most bacteria grow best in the temperature danger zone
    • Temperatures below 4°C will not kill pathogenic bacteria but will slow down their growth
    • At temperatures above 60°C, pathogenic bacteria will not grow
    • Cooking food to appropriate final internal cooking temperatures is the only way to ensure pathogenic bacteria are destroyed (refer to page 46 for cooking temperatures)
  5. Oxygen
    • Most pathogenic bacteria can only grow where there is oxygen present while some can only grow where there is no oxygen
    • For example, the pathogenic bacteria, Clostridium botulinum can grow in canned foods and in flavoured oils where there is no oxygen
  6. Moisture (available water)
    • Pathogenic bacteria need a water supply to survive
    • The amount of water in food can be reduced by processes such as smoking, drying or adding salt or sugar

These six factors influence the growth of pathogenic bacteria.

By sufficiently changing or eliminating one of the factors, bacterial growth and the risk of foodborne illness can be prevented.

Time and temperature are the easiest factors for food handlers to control.

Potentially Hazardous Foods

Foods that are able to support the growth of pathogenic bacteria and the production of toxins are considered hazardous

However, any food can be the cause of food poisoning if it is not handled safely and becomes contaminated

Foods that are considered most hazardous are those with a high protein and available water (moisture) content. Examples of these foods are:

  • Poultry
  • Beef/veal
  • Pork/ham
  • Fish/seafood
  • Egg dishes
  • Cooked rice
  • Milk and milk products

Types of Bacterial Foodborne Illness

The most common microorganisms that cause food poisoning are bacteria.There are two types of bacterial food poisoning:

  1. Bacterial infection
  2. Bacterial intoxication

1. Bacterial Infection

A bacterial infection occurs when the food eaten is contaminated with living pathogenic bacteria.

Bacteria will multiply in the digestive tract and most often cause diarrhea, stomach cramps and fever. The bacteria will pass through your stomach and down into your lower intestine. The bacteria will imbed themselves in the wall of the intestine and begin to multiply. When there are enough bacteria, diarrhea will result and may be bloody.

Symptoms may occur 12 hours to 10 days (longer in some cases) after eating the contaminated food depending on:

  • Type of bacteria consumed
  • The amount of food eaten
  • The susceptibility of the person

Examples of infectious bacteria are Salmonella, Campylobacter, E. coli and Shigella.

Pathogenic bacteria can be destroyed by cooking foods to the appropriate cooking temperature.


  • Source: Intestinal tract and feces of humans and animals; in particular poultry and beef
  • Onset: six - 72 hrs
  • Symptoms: Abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, headache, and occasional vomiting
  • Associated Foods: Poultry, meat and meat products, eggs, unpasteurized milk, roast beef
  • Prevention: Keep foods out of Danger Zone, proper cold-holding/hot-holding of foods

E. coli 0157:H7

  • Source: Intestinal tract and feces of animals in particular beef
  • Onset: 3-10 days; usually 3-4 days
  • Symptoms: Bloody or watery diarrhea, abdominal cramps; may lead to Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome or other serious kidney complications
  • Associated Foods: Raw meats in particular ground beef, poultry, pork, contaminated water, unpasteurized milk/juices
  • Prevention: Keep foods out of Danger Zone, proper cold-holding/hot-holding of foods


  • Source: Intestinal tract of poultry, cattle, swine, rodents, wild birds, and household pets (cats/dogs)
  • Onset: 2- 5 days
  • Symptoms: Diarrhea (may be bloody), abdominal cramps, fever, vomiting
  • Associated Foods: Raw/undercooked poultry, unpasteurized milk, contaminated water
  • Prevention: Keep foods out of Danger Zone, proper cold-holding/hot-holding of foods

2. Bacterial Intoxication

A bacterial intoxication can happen when the food eaten is contaminated with toxins (poison) or toxin-producing bacteria.

When these bacteria multiply in the food or in the body, a toxin is produced. Not all toxins are destroyed by cooking, therefore it is important to keep foods out of the temperature danger zone.

Vomiting is the most common and first symptom of bacterial intoxication.

Examples of bacteria that produce toxins are Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus cereus and Clostridium botulinum.

Staphylococcus Aureus

  • Source: Nose, throat, hair, skin, hands, feces of humans
  • Onset: 30 min-8 hrs, usually 2-4 hrs
  • Symptoms: Vomiting, stomach cramps, diarrhea
  • Associated Foods: Ham, beef, pork, potato salad, cream sauces, custard, ready-to-eat foods
  • Prevention: Proper handwashing, proper glove use, keep foods out of danger zone

Bacillus Cereus

  • Source: Everywhere in the environment, commonly found in raw, dried and processed foods
  • This bacteria produces toxins, heat-stable (not destroyed by heat) or heat-labile (destroyed or altered by heat)
  • Onset: 30 min-6 hrs (heat-stable toxin);6-24 hrs (heat-labile toxin)
  • Symptoms: Nausea, vomiting (heat-stable toxin); diarrhea (heat-labile toxin)
  • Associated Foods: Cooked rice (heat-stable toxin); various mishandled foods (heat-labile toxin)
  • Prevention: Keep foods out of Danger Zone, proper cold-holding/hot-holding of foods

Clostridium Botulinum (foodborne toxin)

  • Source: Pre-formed toxin present in contaminated foods
  • Onset: 12 - 36 hours
  • Symptoms: Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, fatigue, blurred vision, dry mouth, difficulty speaking/swallowing, descending paralysis
  • Associated Foods: Improperly prepared low-acid canned foods, improperly smoked fish, improperly handled raw marine mammal meat, non-refrigerated low-acid juices, baked potato stored in aluminum foil
  • Prevention: Use proper home canning methods, never eat foods from dented/bulging/leaking cans


Viruses are microorganisms that multiply inside living cells and cause illness

Viruses do not multiply in food; they are simply passed to humans through food

Antibiotics do not work against viruses but some vaccines will help people build immunity against certain viruses

Examples of viruses that can be passed through food are Hepatitis A, and Norovirus

Foods can be contaminated by viruses through unwashed hands, unclean preparation areas, and unsafe water

Some viruses can survive on counter tops and food contact surfaces for a long period of time

Hepatitis A

  • Source: Feces of humans, contaminated water
  • Onset: 15-50 days; average 28-30 days
  • Symptoms: Loss of appetite, fever, fatigue, nausea, jaundice, dark urine and some people may be asymptomatic
  • Associated Foods: Shellfish, water, any ready-to-eat foods contaminated by food-handler
  • Prevention: Prevent infected food handler from handing foods, good hand and personal hygiene


  • Source: Feces of humans, contaminated water, contaminated work surfaces
  • Onset: 12-48 hrs
  • Symptoms: Vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea, fever
  • Associated Foods: Shellfish, fecally contaminated foods, ready-to-eat foods touched by infected food handler
  • Prevention: Good hand and personal hygiene, proper sanitation of work surfaces


Parasites are organisms that cause illness by living and feeding off a host organism.

Various symptoms are associated with parasitic diseases. Some of these symptoms include nausea and diarrhea, and other symptoms are more disease-specific such as ulcers, anemia, muscle pain and, in some cases, muscle damage.

Parasites are killed and inactivated by cooking the food product to the proper internal temperature.

Transmission of Parasites to Humans

  1. Consumption of contaminated water
    • Consuming untreated or unprotected water which may be contaminated with parasites
    • Exposure to fecally contaminated recreational water
    • Use of contaminated water to wash or rinse food
  2. Consumption of undercooked or raw contaminated meat products
    • Consumption of wild game meats such as bear or boar which are raw or undercooked
  3. Consumption of food contaminated by infected food handlers
    • An infected food handler can transmit a parasite to food they are working with


Moulds are fungi that grow on a variety of vegetable and animal matter, especially under warm, moist conditions.

Moulds produce elaborate root networks.

Although most mould found on food products is more of a spoilage and quality issue, some moulds can produce toxins which can be harmful and cause illness.

Examples of toxins produced by certain mould species include:

  • Aflatoxin - occasionally found in nuts or peanuts
  • Orchratoxin - occasionally found in grains or coffee

Unless mold is a characteristic of the food, when food goes mouldy throw it out.

Chemical Poisoning

Chemical food poisoning can occur when chemicals are intentionally or unintentionally added to food.

Vomiting is a common symptom of chemical contamination and usually occurs within one hour of ingestion.

Ensure chemicals are properly stored below or away from any food products or food preparation areas.

Examples of chemicals that can cause chemical food poisoning:

  • Pest control poisons
  • Additives
  • Cleaners
  • Degreasers

Avoiding Accidental Contamination

Pesticides or pest poisons should be used appropriately and away from any food preparation areas.

Mislabelled chemical containers such as spray bottles or buckets have the potential to contaminate food if mishandled.

Cleaners and degreasers should be stored and handled away from any food items or food preparation areas.

Dickey's Barbecue, a restaurant in Salt Lake City, was involved in a case where their iced tea was accidentally poisoned.

Poisonous Plants and Animals

Some plants and animals are naturally poisonous when consumed. This is why it's important to purchase foods from approved sources.

Some examples of poisonous plants and animals are:

  • Solanine in green potatoes
  • Poisonous mushrooms
  • Fish and shellfish toxins

Natural toxins in fruits and vegetables

Food Allergies

An allergy is an overreaction of the immune system to unwanted substances.

Allergies can result in a wide range of symptoms. The most common are vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, throat itchiness, and swelling. Symptoms may also include tingling in the mouth, hives, tightness in the throat and chest, wheezing, shallow breathing, coughing/choking, dizziness and abdominal pain.

Common food allergens:

  • Peanuts/tree nuts
  • Eggs
  • Seafood
  • Dairy products
  • Soy
  • Wheat gluten
  • Seeds
  • Sulphites

Anaphylactic shock or anaphylaxis is the severe form of an allergic reaction. It is a dramatic loss in blood pressure which leads to unconsciousness and can result in death within three to 15 minutes.

Allergies and the role of the food service industry

Keep an accurate list of all ingredients that are put into foods.

Keep ingredient lists from the packages of all pre-packaged food.

If you are not sure of the food's ingredients, tell the customer that you are not sure.

Be aware of potential cross-contamination of food when using utensils and equipment like cooking utensils, cutting utensils and baking pans.

Where possible on the menu, substitute with food that will be less likely to cause an allergic reaction, for example, substitute vegetable oil for peanut oil.

Call 911 if a customer is having a severe allergic reaction.

Food allergies and allergen labelling for consumers

Food Intolerance

Some foods (lactose) and food additives (MSG, sulphites) can cause a food intolerance with similar symptoms as food allergies.

The difference is food intolerances do not affect the immune system.

What to do if Someone Reports Possible Food Poisoning?

Ask the customer what date and time he or she visited the restaurant and what foods were consumed.

Call the local public health unit and advise the customer to call the health unit.

Refrigerate, label and keep any leftover food portions from menu item. Inform staff not to use samples.

Review with the staff how the meal was prepared (using the HACCP system).

Ask staff if they were ill with similar symptoms.

Document all information

Physical Hazards

Protect food from being contaminated with anything that may cause illness, a choking hazard or other injury.

This includes items like:

  • Bandages
  • Gum
  • Hair
  • False finger nails
  • Jewelry
  • Glass
  • Metal staples
  • Broken equipment or containers

Section 2 Review Questions

1. Pathogenic microorganisms can cause illness

2. Food poisoning:

3. The following are types of micro-biological food poisonings

Section 3: Safe Food Handling

Four Principles of Safe Food Handling

  1. Temperature Control
  2. Preventing Cross-Contamination
  3. Good Personal Hygiene
  4. Proper Cleaning and Sanitizing

Temperature Control

Most cases of food poisoning are caused by failing to keep hazardous foods at the right temperature. This includes hot and cold holding, cooling, reheating and cooking temperatures.

You cannot determine food temperature by colour, steam or by touch.

The only way to accurately measure food temperatures is by using a calibrated thermometer.

Using a probe thermometer

Clean and sanitize the thermometer after each use and before inserting it into the next food item.

Check the stem of the thermometer for an indentation or "dimple" that shows the end of the sensing device. The probe must be inserted the full length of the sensing area (usually 2 to 3 in).

The probe must be inserted into the thickest part of the food. Make sure the probe does not touch bone or the container.

If measuring the temperature of food that is not very thick, such as a hamburger patty or boneless chicken breast, the probe should be inserted through the side of the food so the entire sensing area is positioned through the centre of the food.

It is recommended to record cooking, storage (hot and cold) and reheating temperatures in a log book.

The "Danger Zone"

Time and temperature abuse is the most common causes of food poisoning.

The "Danger Zone" is between 4°C / 40°F and 60°C / 140°F. This is the optimal growth temperature for most pathogens.

Keep hot food hot (60°C/140°F or above). Ensure that any hot holding apparatus is capable of maintaining this temperature (O. Reg. 562, Sec. 33. 2 b).

Keep cold food cold (4°C/40°F or below). Ensure that all refrigeration units can keep foods at or below this temperature (O. Reg. 562, Sec. 33 2 a).

Move hazardous foods through the "Danger Zone" as quickly as possible during cooling and reheating.

Do not allow hazardous foods to be in the "Danger Zone" longer than two hours (total cumulative time).

Hazardous foods at room temperature for longer than two hours should be discarded.


Cross-contamination is the transfer of pathogens, chemicals or unwanted items onto food that may make it unsafe to eat.

Cross-contamination can occur in three ways:

  1. Contaminated food/water to food
    • Liquids from raw chicken dripping onto salad in refrigerator
    • Using raw eggs in a sauce with no further cooking steps (such as homemade mayonnaise or Caesar dressing)
  2. Food handler to food
    • Preparing foods before washing hands
    • Food handler with diarrhea handling food
    • Improper taste testing of food
  3. Contaminated equipment to food
    • Using the same knife to cut raw meats and vegetables
    • Using contaminated deli slicer to prepare ready-to-eat foods

Prevention of Cross-Contamination

Clean and sanitize all equipment after coming in contact with hazardous food (knives, cutting boards, tongs etc.).

Store cooked or ready to eat food on a shelf above raw food or in a separate refrigerator.

Store utensils in a sanitary manner to prevent contamination.

Label chemicals and pesticides and store them in a separate area away from food.

Practice good personal hygiene.

Wash your hands

Personal Hygiene

Food handlers must wear clean clothing and change aprons as often as necessary (O. Reg. 562 Sec 65. 1 b,c).

Food handlers are not to handle food if they are ill with diarrhea and/or vomiting and should only return after they have been symptom-free for at least 24 hours or as directed by your physician/health care provider.

Food handlers must not handle food with bare hands if they have open cuts on their hands.

Aprons and uniforms are not to be used as hand towels as they may contaminate hands or food.

Food handlers must have trimmed nails and wear no jewellery when preparing food.

Food handlers must be aware of their personal habits such as biting nails, touching their face especially around the mouth, nose and eyes.

Food handlers must wear headgear that confines the hair (O. Reg 562 Sec. 67).

Employees must not smoke in the kitchen area (O. Reg 562 Sec. 65.1a).

Sanitary Facilities

Washrooms, toilets, lockers and change rooms must be kept clean, sanitary and in good repair at all times.

There must be a constant supply of hot and cold potable running water, liquid soap in a dispenser and paper towels or a hand dryer.

A garbage container must be provided.

Provide a sign clearly identifying the sex for which the washroom is intended (O. Reg. 562 sec. 68 (20)).

Handwashing Basins

Handwashing basins are required by legislation.

They must be located in each food preparation area and easily accessible so employees can wash their hands conveniently.

They are to be used for handwashing only - not for dishwashing or food preparation.

They must be supplied with hot and cold running water, soap in a dispenser and paper towels.

Washroom basins are not a replacement for handwash basins.

All food service employees are required to wash their hands when returning to the kitchen. (O. Reg 562 Sec. 20.2c)

Six Step Method of Handwashing

  1. Wet hands and wrists
  2. Use soap to scrub palms and back of hands
  3. Scrub in between and around fingers and thumbs
  4. Rinse well under running water
  5. Wipe and dry hands with paper towel
  6. Turn off water using paper towel

Commonly Missed Spots when Washing Hands

Thumbs and finger tips are the most commonly missed spots when washing your hands

When is Handwashing Required?

Always wash your hands:

  • Before starting work or preparing foods
  • When switching from working with one food to another
  • When switching activities from non-food tasks to food preparation tasks
  • Before putting gloves on and after taking gloves off
  • After working with raw food products that may contain bacteria such as raw meats, poultry, eggs and egg shells and vegetables
  • After touching contaminated surfaces such as cutting boards, dirty dishes, bags or garbage containers or mop handles
  • After using the toilet
  • After sneezing, coughing or blowing your nose
  • After smoking
  • After playing with pets
  • After any activity that may result in contamination of your hands

O.Reg. 562 Sec. 65 1(e)

Rules for Glove Use

Follow these rules for the safe and appropriate use of gloves when handling food:

  • Glove use does not replace handwashing
  • Wash hands before putting on gloves and after taking them off
  • Change gloves when they become soiled or torn
  • Change gloves after handling raw meats and before handling cooked or ready-to-eat foods
  • Change gloves when leaving your task. For example, if you have to answer the phone while making sandwiches, follow these steps:
    1. Remove the gloves
    2. Answer the phone
    3. Wash your hands
    4. Put on a fresh pair of gloves and then return to your task
  • Gloves must be worn if you have a cut, open sore or skin diseases on your hand

Cleaning and Sanitizing

Clean: the removal of oil, grease, dirt and debris from surfaces using soap and water.

Sanitize: the removal of 99.9% of pathogenic microorganisms using very high temperature water or approved chemical sanitizers.

Utensils, multi-service articles, equipment and food contact surfaces must be cleaned and sanitized after each use.

Regulated Sanitizers

  • Chlorine (bleach) 100 ppm
  • Iodine 25 ppm
  • Quaternary Ammonium 200 ppm

O. Reg. 562 Sec. 75 (1)(a,b,c)

Sanitizer test strips are to be used to verify the concentration of the sanitizer.

Vinegar is not a sanitizer.

Contact time for sanitizers is based on manufacturer's recommendations.

Always follow the manufacturer's instructions when mixing solutions and allowing for contact time.

Use 2 mL (1/2 tsp) of bleach (liquid chlorine) for every 1 litre of water to make a disinfection solution of 100 mg/L (100 ppm).

Machine Utensil and Dishwashing

Use these steps when washing utensils using a dishwasher:

  1. Scrape, sort and pre-rinse
  2. Wash with clean hot water between 60°C (140°F) and 71°C (160°F) and detergent
  3. Rinse with hot water
  4. Sanitize with either:
    • Hot water at a minimum of 82°C (180°F) for 10 seconds or
    • Regulated sanitizing solution, following suppliers instructions, for proper concentration and contact time
  5. Air Dry

Three Compartment Sink

Three Compartment Sink. Sink One: WAsh in clean hot water and detergent. Sink Two: Rinse in clean hot water at 43 degrees C (110 degrees F). Sink Three: Sanitize


Soak dishes based on manufacturer's contact time:

  • In water at 77°C (170°F), or
  • Use clean warm water with a sanitizer such as:
    • Chlorine, 100 ppm
    • Quat, 200 ppm
    • Iodine, 25 ppm

Two Compartment Sink

Two Compartment Sink. Sink One: Wash and rinse. Sink Two: Sanitize

Wash and Rinse

  • Wash In clean hot water and detergent
  • Rinse With clean water (43°C/110°F)


Soak dishes based on manufacturer's contact time:

  • In water at 77°C (170°F), or
  • Use clean warm water with a sanitizer such as:
    • Chlorine, 100 ppm
    • Quat, 200 ppm
    • Iodine, 25 ppm

Manual Utensil and Dishwashing

Clean-in-place method

  • Use the clean-in-place method for all equipment that comes into contact with food, but are too large to fit in the dishwasher or the two or three compartment sink
  • This method is also used for equipment and utensils that cannot be moved from their location
  • Use the clean-in-place method for equipment such as a meat slicer (after the blade has been removed), a soft ice cream machine or large soup kettles
  • Wash, rinse, sanitize
  • Sanitize using double the strength - chlorine at 200 ppm, iodine at 50 ppm and quats at 400 ppm
  • Ensure all parts that come into contact with food are fully disassembled and exposed to the sanitizer
  • Allow at least 45 seconds contact time or see manufacturer's instructions

O. Reg. 562 Sec. 82 (a)(b)

Utensil Storage and Sanitation

Store clean and sanitized utensils in a manner that protects them from potential contamination. For example, do not store utensils between pieces of equipment or between equipment and the wall as this may contaminate the utensil.

Never scoop food with a cup or bowl. Instead, use a utensil that has a handle in order to prevent contaminating food.

Regularly check utensils and storage containers for evidence of wear or damage. Damaged utensils may become a physical hazard if pieces end up in food.

When providing utensils for customer self-service, store them in a manner where the customer can grab the handle or have the utensils individually wrapped.


Clean floors using damp mops at least once daily

Keep walls, ceilings and light fixtures clean and in good repair

Remove dirt from under equipment, in corners and in hard-to-reach places

Store all supplies at least 15 cm (6 in) off the ground to allow for proper cleaning, to help reduce pest problems and to prevent cross-contamination

Keep equipment clean and in good repair

Clean and disinfect all tables, counters and work surfaces before and after food preparation or service

Routinely clean mechanical ventilation hoods, filters and vent pipes that remove heat, steam and odours

Wash and sanitize empty food bins and containers before refilling them

It is recommended to implement a cleaning schedule

Pest Control

  • Eliminate all nesting areas by removing unused equipment and by keeping all areas clean, especially behind equipment and shelving
  • Keep pests out by screening doors and windows and maintaining or installing weather-stripping under doors
  • Caulk and fill all holes with steel wool
  • Inspect deliveries for infestations
  • Eliminate all food and water sources
  • It is recommended to have a licensed pest control company on contract
  • Poison bait must be labelled and stored in an area separate from food
  • Store garbage in pest proof containers and keep these areas clean

When a Fly Lands on your Food

  1. Flies can't eat solid food, so to soften it up ... they VOMIT on it
  2. Then they stamp the vomit in until it's a liquid
  3. Usually stamping in a few germs for good measure
  4. Then when it's good and runny, they suck it all back again; Probably dropping some excrement at the same time...and
  5. Then when they've finished's your turn

Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP)

HACCP is a food safety system which allows you to:

  1. Look at the foods and practices in your establishment which could cause foodborne illness (Hazard Analysis)
  2. Develop food safety procedures which will reduce the risk of foodborne illness (Critical Control Points)
  3. Develop monitoring procedures


Hazards are pathogens and/or toxins that can grow or survive in food. Hazards could also include chemicals or physical objects in food.


Analysis is the process of examining the flow of food to identify the points that may cause food borne illness.

Critical Control Point

A step in the preparation of a food where any unsafe situation that may lead to foodborne illness is eliminated, prevented or controlled.

For example, a burger must be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 71°C (160°F) to destroy pathogens, such as E.coli, that may cause serious illness.

Six Steps to a HACCP System

1. Conduct Hazard Analysis

  • Review recipes listing each step and its level of hazard, paying special attention to food with high risk ingredients
  • Breakdown recipes into the seven steps of food flow
  • Use a flow chart diagram to show each step, the equipment used, the personnel involved, the location of the process and other processes in the same area

2. Determine Critical Control Points (CCP)

  • On the flow chart, record the expected time, temperature and amount of handling involved in each step according to the recipe
  • Break down each step and look for the possibility of contamination and growth of micro-organisms

3. Establish Critical Limits

  • Critical limits establish acceptable risk from unacceptable risk
  • These limits need to be met to ensure the CCP is under control. For example, time and temperature requirements

4. Monitor and Record CCPs

  • Watch food preparation and ensure the actual time, temperature and amount of handling at all the steps and record this information on the flow chart
  • All steps must be monitored to make sure the planned control and preventative measures work

5. Corrective Action

  • Corrective action must be taken when monitoring indicates that CCP is not under control and there are unsafe food handling practices. For example, if the refrigerator is not maintaining minimum 4°C (40°F), what corrective action should be taken?

6. Verification

  • Verification may include keeping and maintaining a log book which may contain the recipe, its flow chart, time, temperature and amount of handling at each step
  • Verification may also include managers or supervisors reviewing staff food handling practices
  • Review the procedures often and record the proper preparation steps and handling concerns

Section 3 Review Questions

1. The "Danger zone" is:

2. What is cross-contamination?

3. This bacteria is commonly found on food handlers skin, nose, and hair:

4. Washrooms must have the following items:

5. How do flies contaminate food?

6. Racks, skids and non-movable furniture should be 15cm (6in) off the floor to:

Section 4: Food Flow

Eight Stages of Food Flow

1. Purchasing and Receiving

  • All food must come from approved sources
  • Homemade or uninspected food is not allowed
  • Inspect all incoming food for torn, damaged or stained boxes
  • Inspect the condition of the delivery truck
  • Check the temperature of incoming food:
    • Refrigerated foods must be at 4°C (40°F) or less
    • Frozen food must be at -18°C (0°F) or less

2. Storage


  • Practice First In, First Out
  • Store chemical products away from food products
  • When foods are repackaged, clearly label and date container
  • All food containers must be properly covered

Refrigeration Storage

  • All refrigeration units must have an accurate indicating thermometer which is readily visible
  • Temperatures must be maintained at 4°C (40°F) or less
  • Store all raw foods below cooked or ready to eat foods to prevent cross contamination
  • Avoid packing the refrigerator too full to allow proper air circulation

Freezer Storage

  • Must be maintained at -18°C (0°F) or less

Dry Storage

  • Keep food at least 15cm (6in) off the floor to facilitate cleaning and to easily identify rodent problem

3. Preparation

  • Wash your hands before beginning preparation and in between tasks
  • Prepare food in small batches and limit the time food is left in the Danger Zone (4°C to 60°C / 40°F to 140°F)
  • Prevent cross contamination by cleaning and sanitizing utensils and work surfaces in between tasks or by using colour-coded cutting boards for different foods
  • Prepare the food as close to serving time as possible

Thawing / Defrosting

Food can be safely defrosted:

  • In the refrigerator
  • Under cold running water
  • In the microwave on the defrost cycle

Use the defrosted/thawed item within two days.

4. Cooking

Cooking temperatures to be reached for at least 15 seconds

Reheating temperatures to be reached within two hours for at least 15 seconds

Product Minimum Internal Temperature
Cooking Temperature Reheating Temperature
Poultry (whole) 82°C / 180°F 74°C / 165°F
Poultry (pieces) 74°C / 165°F 74°C / 165°F
Poultry (ground) 74°C / 165°F 74°C / 165°F
Mixture of food containing poultry, egg, meat, fish or other hazardous foods 74°C / 165°F 74°C / 165°F
Pork and pork products 71°C / 160°F 71°C / 160°F
Ground beef 71°C / 160°F 71°C / 160°F
Fish 70°C / 158°F 70°C / 158°F

Microwave Cooking

  • If the microwave does not have a rotating base, stop the cooking process and turn the food occasionally to prevent hot and cold spots
  • Check internal temperature at 3 different sites
  • Place thicker portions of food toward the exterior of the microwave dish
  • Ensure the containers are microwave-safe

5. Cooling

Food should be cooled from 60°C (140°F) to 4°C (40°F) within four to six hours. It can take hours or even days for large quantities of food to cool to appropriate temperatures.

You can reduce cooling times by:

  • Placing pots of food in an ice water bath
  • Dividing large quantities of food into smaller containers that are approximately 10cm (4in) in depth
  • Stirring frequently
  • Slicing or dividing large cuts of meat into smaller pieces
  • Placing in the refrigerator and, once it cools to 4°C(40°F), cover the container

6. Hot and Cold Holding

Proper hot holding

  • Maintain temperature of hazardous food above 60°C (140°F)
  • Check internal temperature of the food using a metal stem probe thermometer every two hours
  • Never cook or reheat food in hot holding equipment

Proper cold holding

  • Keep food cold in refrigerated display units or on ice
  • The internal temperature of the food must be maintained at 4°C (40°F) or less

7. Reheating

  • Reheat cold hazardous food to original cooking temperature
  • Reheat quickly on the stove, in the oven or in the microwave
  • Never reheat slowly over several hours in hot holding units

8. Serving

  • Prevent cross-contamination by ensuring servers take appropriate personal hygiene measures (such as hand washing, no direct contact with food)
  • Ensure serving utensils are clean and sanitized
  • Do not stack plates when serving meals to customers
  • Ensure service area is kept clean and regularly wipe down the menus

If transporting foods, ensure vehicles are clean and foods are held at proper hot or cold holding temperatures.

Review Questions

1. When cooking ground beef hamburgers, cook them until


3. A critical control point is:

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